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Malta vs Curacao: How to get an online gambling license

Tuesday 16th April 2019
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When starting an online gaming business, you have several important steps to accomplish. Let's see what you will need to build a powerful gambling business:

  1. Professional igaming software
  2. Betting and gaming company
  3. Gambling license
  4. Merchant account

All of them are equally important, but many people face more difficulties when choosing a gaming license that will meet their business needs. As you already know, our today’s goal is to understand which gambling license to choose. The growing demand for a trustworthy licensed operator creates incentives for liberalizing the online gaming market. That’s why it’s challenging for today’s operators to comply with these regulations. This has caused many obstacles for small gaming companies to obtain and uphold a gaming license.
Today, there are the following frameworks in the gambling industry:

  • Countries/states that regulate online gambling within their territories;
  • Countries/states that regulate, but provide exclusivity to public/private  monopolies;
  • Countries/states that ban betting activities within their jurisdictions;
  • Countries/states that lack regulations on gambling activities.

There are a lot of gambling laws and jurisdictions. Of course, among the most popular ones are Alderney, Malta, Curacao, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc. Today, we will draw your attention to two of these gaming jurisdictions: Malta and Curacao. We are going to weigh up the pros and cons of each license.

Malta VS Curacao gambling license

Curacao (Netherland Anthills) is considered one of the most popular online gaming licenses as it has quite favorable gaming jurisdiction. The tax service is quite affordable and usually, master licenses are packed with a license and hosting services for newbies as well.

Curacao is a small island on the north coast of Venezuela. The gaming industry has been expanding in Curacao since 1966. Curacao gaming license offers only one type of permit to operators and software providers for sports betting, games of skill and chance.

Malta is a Mediterranean island, which is also a member of the EU. Malta has a long history in gaming legislation. In 2009 the island generated 52.5 million euro tax revenue from remote gaming.
Maltese gambling system is governed by the Malta Gambling Authority and a lot of laws and regulations have been created to form the regulatory framework. Malta gaming license has a high repute thanks to anti-money laundering standards and financial laws and regulations.

Malta gaming jurisdiction

Malta is the first member of the EU to regulate Internet gaming since 2000. A year later, the Malta Gaming Authoritywas formed. According to the latest update of the framework, Malta offers licenses of the following categories:

  • Gaming Service license: a business to consumer license to offer or carry out a gaming service;
  • Critical Gaming Supply license: a business-to-business license to provide or carry out a critical gaming supply.

The authority issues a variety of gambling licenses and drafts relevant regulatory frameworks to cover the following game types:

  • Type 1

Games of chance played against the house which result is determined by a random generator and it includes casino type games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette, poker, slots, etc.

  • Type 2

Games of chance played against the house such as sportsbook which outcome is decided by the result of an event or competition and the risks are ruled by the operator himself by managing odds offered to a player.

  • Type 3

Games of chance not played against the house, where operators generate revenues by a commission or other charge based on stakes or prizes, it includes player vs player games such as poker, bingo, etc.

  • Type 4

Controlled skill games such as fantasy sports where the outcome is determined by the aggregation of statistical results of the performance based on skills and knowledge of a number of individuals competing in actual sporting events.

By the way, the Maltese government is building a Smart city which will be a hub for online companies in the country.

Pros and cons of Malta gaming license

There are both advantages and drawbacks of Malta gambling license. Among the pros are:

  1. Stable regulatory framework

Malta has a powerful regulatory system for igaming. As mentioned earlier, it is regulated by a special governmental body, which ensures efficient and pragmatic gambling regulations.

  1. The protection of players and operators
    The license is awarded based on the proper operation of interactive games and many other factors. Thanks to a stable regulatory framework, Malta offers protection for both players and operators.
  2. Anti-money laundering
    When it comes to money laundering, Malta gaming jurisdiction is second to none, as it has implemented all EU Directives regulating the prevention of money laundering.
  3. Reputable license
    Maltese license is trustworthy and reputable because it is sanctioned by the EU which makes it meet all the standards of a high-class online gambling license.
  4. Multiple licenses
    Operators can apply for multiple licenses that are issued for ten years at a time.

Of course, with the advantages there are also disadvantages that make gaming operators to think twice before choosing Malta gaming license:

  • Taxation and license fees are higher than in Curacao;
  • Application procedure requires more time and is more complex;
  • A significant portion of a casino/sportsbooks operations must be located in Malta.
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